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Building and coloring artwork at the same time

From: Illustrator Insider Training: Drawing without the Pen Tool

Video: Building and coloring artwork at the same time

When we were talking about the Live Paint feature inside of Illustrator, one of the primary tools we were using was the Live Paint Bucket tool, that allowed us to once we've defined or created a Live Paint group, we would be able to apply fill attributes to individual regions. When using the Shape Builder tool, we also have the ability to control the color of the artwork as we're performing these functions. For example, I'm going to start by taking a look at these two circles right here. I am going to select both of them and I'll press Shift+M to select my Shape Builder tool.

Building and coloring artwork at the same time

When we were talking about the Live Paint feature inside of Illustrator, one of the primary tools we were using was the Live Paint Bucket tool, that allowed us to once we've defined or created a Live Paint group, we would be able to apply fill attributes to individual regions. When using the Shape Builder tool, we also have the ability to control the color of the artwork as we're performing these functions. For example, I'm going to start by taking a look at these two circles right here. I am going to select both of them and I'll press Shift+M to select my Shape Builder tool.

Now, we already discussed that when we start clicking-and-dragging on a particular object, then Illustrator uses that color for the final artwork. So if I click on the red shape here and I drag across towards the yellow shape, my final united shape is going to be red. Let me press Undo. If I start dragging on the yellow shape, and then I drag over to the red shape, I now see that my shape is turned yellow. Let me press Undo again. If I start dragging from outside the shape and I drag across, in this case, Illustrator defaults to the behavior of the Pathfinder functions.

Meaning, it now uses the topmost object as the final colored object. So since here in this case, the red circle is at the top of my stacking order, when I release the mouse, I'll see that my entire object turns red. The only reason why all this is happening is because if I double-click on the Shape Builder tool inside of my Tools panel, this brings up the Shape Builder tool Options dialog box and I'll see that there is an option here that says Pick Color From and it's currently set to Artwork. However, if I change this to say Color Swatches instead, I can also choose this option here called Cursor Swatch Preview.

If I click OK now, I'll see that at the top of my cursor for the Shape Builder tool, I now have these three boxes that represent the swatches inside of my Swatches panel. Again, this is exactly the same as those three boxes that appeared on top of the Live Paint Bucket tool when I was working in Live Paint. So now if I use the right or the left -arrows on my keyboard, I can toggle between the different color swatches that appear inside of my Swatches panel. So if I choose Blue for example, and I click in this shape over here, it paints it blue.

So let's actually apply this to some of the artwork here for Mister Zee. I'm going to press Command+Spacebar, Ctrl+Spacebar and zoom in on the bottom part here of this file, and now I'll press Command or Ctrl and drag across these shapes to select them. Now, I know I want to fill certain areas here with color. So what I can do is very quickly just toggle over to black because I want my stripes to be black, and then I'll just simply click here once, click-and-drag across these three shapes here, and then click here once, and I now have created those shapes that I need. I don't need the other parts of the artwork.

So I'll Option+Drag across these areas to remove them. I can also hold down Option+Shift so that I can marquee larger areas like this, kind of delete them all at once, and very quickly with just a few kind of strokes of the mouse over here, as I kind of go through these shapes, I'm able to get at the final stripes that I want for my artwork. Not only was I able to modify the path themselves by using a combination of add and subtract. In fact I see I have one little piece over here left over, Option+Drag over the line and it's gone.

So now I have my three stripes here, and I was able to use the combination of add, subtract, and also the divide, but at the same time, also color in the shapes, all using the Shape Builder tool. So you can see how easy and fast it is. I've actually now combined the benefits of Live Paint and a Pathfinder in a visual and intuitive fashion. The Shape Builder tool in my opinion like I said earlier is the sleeper feature of CS5. You should definitely become familiar with it because I think it will save you so much time in your work using Illustrator.

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This video is part of

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  1. 7m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. The evolution of vector drawing
      3m 46s
    3. Getting the most out of this training
      1m 30s
    4. Using the exercise files
      27s
  2. 39m 2s
    1. Plotting points vs. drawing paths
      5m 36s
    2. Drawing artwork vs. building artwork
      7m 59s
    3. The keyboard shortcuts you HAVE to know
      8m 52s
    4. Groups and layers really do matter
      3m 11s
    5. Taming Smart Guides and the Bounding Box
      10m 53s
    6. Do you need a drawing tablet?
      2m 31s
  3. 47m 51s
    1. To sketch or not to sketch?
      2m 32s
    2. Setting up a template layer for your sketch
      3m 37s
    3. Optimizing default settings for drawing
      5m 27s
    4. Using the primitive shapes tools
      5m 7s
    5. Mastering the modifier keys
      2m 8s
    6. Mastering the transform tools
      6m 37s
    7. Creating curves with the Reshape tool
      6m 44s
    8. Using the Smooth tool
      3m 35s
    9. Using Simplify to create smooth paths
      3m 2s
    10. Recording an action for the Simplify command
      5m 2s
    11. Mirroring art for speed and accuracy
      4m 0s
  4. 50m 18s
    1. Deconstructing the Pathfinder panel
      1m 56s
    2. Using the Shape Modes functions
      12m 4s
    3. Using the Pathfinder functions
      13m 4s
    4. Understanding how compound shapes work
      11m 45s
    5. Understanding why compound shapes exist
      7m 32s
    6. Exploring additional Pathfinder options
      3m 57s
  5. 52m 51s
    1. Why Live Paint was created
      10m 45s
    2. Creating a Live Paint group
      4m 21s
    3. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      7m 8s
    4. Using Live Paint with open paths
      5m 6s
    5. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      3m 42s
    6. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      5m 34s
    7. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      6m 28s
    8. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 59s
    9. Understanding how Live Paint works
      6m 48s
  6. 27m 37s
    1. Why the Shape Builder tool was created
      4m 18s
    2. Focusing on the big three: Add, Subtract, and Divide
      2m 27s
    3. Using the Shape Builder tool to add and subtract artwork
      9m 50s
    4. Using the Shape Builder to divide artwork
      3m 48s
    5. Building and coloring artwork at the same time
      3m 50s
    6. Using Gap Detection with the Shape Builder tool
      3m 24s
  7. 23m 2s
    1. Understanding how variable widths work
      8m 25s
    2. Modifying width points along a path
      7m 9s
    3. Saving time with width profiles
      5m 14s
    4. Turning variable width strokes into filled paths
      2m 14s
  8. 28m 21s
    1. Understanding how the Pen and Pencil tools differ
      4m 41s
    2. Adjusting the behavior of the Pencil tool
      7m 5s
    3. Using the Path Eraser tool
      1m 17s
    4. Drawing with the Calligraphic Brush tool
      5m 43s
    5. Drawing with the Blob Brush tool
      5m 53s
    6. Using the Eraser tool
      3m 42s
  9. 3m 44s
    1. Looking at the VectorScribe plug-in
      2m 16s
    2. Next steps
      1m 28s

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